Lindy Zhu

Hello there! I am Lindy. For those who don’t know me, I graduated in 2017. Currently, I am a second-year mental health student at the University of Toronto. In this article, I will briefly introduce studying mental health and psychology in Canadian universities since Mr. Berg told me that a few of you guys are interested in psychology.

Mental health is very similar to psychology. There are a lot of overlapping courses. In my school, psychology has more courses from a sociological perspective, while mental health has more neuroscience and clinic content. However, the difference between psychology and mental health may vary in different universities. In the first year of university, it is a requirement for both psychology and mental health students to take a general introduction to psychology course. In the course, I briefly went over all the topics in psychology. The topics were way more than I originally thought, including: personality, intelligence, data analysis, cognitive perception, decision making, psychophysiology and so on. After the first year, students can choose higher level psychology courses with more specific topics which they are interested in.

Studying psychology or mental health definitely requires a huge amount of readings, usually 40-60 pages per course, per week. At the beginning of my freshman year, it was tough to finish all the readings on time because I read them super slow. After one-semester of practice, I was surprised to find out that I can read much faster with the same comprehension. Practice is the key to improving academic reading skills. Besides, students are expected to write a few academic articles in psychology or mental health courses. In these courses, students need to write in APA (American Psychological Association) style. If you choose to learn psychology or mental health, you will definitely learn APA style in the first-year lectures or tutorials.

Last but not least, there is a bonus point in studying psychology. Because not many Chinese students choose this domain, there are more opportunities to communicate with local students and practice oral English. Hopefully, my article will help you to know more about studying psychology and mental health in Canadian universities.